Analyzing the Effectiveness of Fear Appeals Used in HIV/AIDS Advertising

research cover

This study was conducted to investigate and analyze the effectiveness of fear appeals used in HIV/AIDS advertising among Chinese college students, by using focus groups and survey research. Based on the data analysis, the researchers conclude that the increase of level of fears in HIV/AIDS advertising can result in an increase in persuasion, but also an increase in discrimination. Moreover, there is no significant relationship between the level of persuasion of AIDS advertising and the knowledge level of targeted groups.

Research Paper (PDF): Fear Appeal . Jacquelyn & Raymond

Research Presentation (PDF): Research Presentation

P.S.  a little research I have done in college. Of course the sample is not large and representative enough but still we made full use of what we got.


MUJI, a genuine sustainability or a marketing ploy?


A perspective on the Corporate Social Responsibility of MUJI


It is clear that MUJI nowadays becomes a world famous and successful corporation. With its aesthetical product design, unique brand concepts, and distinctive CSR, MUJI has integrated into our lives smoothly. This brief study was conducted aimed to interpret the MUJI CSR performance and obtain some inspirations in this dimension.


MUJI was derived from its full Japanese name “Mujirushi Ryohin”, which literally means “No label quality goods”. Launched in Japan in 1980, MUJI captured the spirit of the 90s with its no label, value-led, less-is-more concepts. It seems that MUJI was born to fulfill social responsibility. Today, it is a renowned producer of stylish, functional and affordable quality goods that are relevant to all aspects of urban living, whether at work, rest or play.

Depending on its “no logo, no brand” policy, MUJI intends to implement its philosophy of simplicity, modesty and humanity. “MUJI aspires to modesty and plainness, the better to adapt and shape itself to the styles, preferences, and practices of as wide a group of people as possible. This is the single most important reason people embrace MUJI” (MUJI, 2013).

The company emphasizes that its customers should only pay for what they can really use. So MUJI is always trying to deliver useful products that strive not to be the best but “enough.” In other words, it hopes to be the compass, which points to the necessities of life.


As a lifestyle store, the marrow of MUJI CSR could be found through its vision and mission statement. Vision: MUJI means pleasant (well-designed, well-made and environmentally-friendly) products and services, and will offer the opportunity of a Pleasant Life (harmony with our neighbors and our planet) to people throughout the world. To be more specific and practical, the mission is to satisfy the customers, offer simplicity, harmony and beauty, and contribute to the greater community.


One expression can stand for MUJI’s corporate operation and that is balancing tomorrow’s sustainability and today’s profitability. The essential ideas of CSR were very well organized in its annual report (Table 1, 2, 3) and some related practices were presented below the tables.

Table 1

Table 1

  • Participation in UN Global Compact, a global framework for sustainable growth in 2013

螢幕快照 2014-02-24 下午06.25.52

  • Last year Ryohin Keikaku Co., Ltd., developer of the brand, received an Inclusive Business Leader Award at the Inclusive Business Leaders Forum 2013, organized by International Finance Corporation (a member of the World Bank Group) because of the product development projects in Kyrgyzstan, Kenya and Cambodia.

螢幕快照 2014-02-24 下午06.27.31

Table 2

Table 2

  • Product Fitness 80 Campaign (2012): the big idea was well organized as exhibitions held world wide, which strongly reflected MUJI’s advocacy of “adequacy” or “self-restraint”.
Product Fitness 80

Product Fitness 80

Big Idea

Big Idea

World Influence

World Influence

  • International Design Competition in China (2013): MUJI sent a call for designing an eternal product, which can be used for years.
Design for the Future

Design for the Future

Table 3

Table 3

  • Quality goods and recycled products as always!
Recycled Products

Recycled Products

  • Continue to Promote the Fair Trade Label
Products with Fair Trade Label

Products with Fair Trade Label

Indeed, MUJI is trying to achieve the sustainability through simplicity. This unique corporation has been devoting itself to bring people back to the origins and into the future.


Even MUJI incorporates considerable sustainable principles into its operations, there are still some criticisms or suggestions. Firstly, many of the products are composed primarily of unsustainable materials like plastic and polyester. Secondly, outsourcing is a very controversial strategy. Most of MUJI’s manufacturing is done in some developing countries (China, Indonesia, Vietnam and so on). At last, the company’s CSR initiatives presented online are still not convincing enough and a lot of things need to be done in order to achieve its CSR statement.


“It’s often said that in order for true change to occur in the consumer goods sphere, the approach to sustainability needs to be holistic and integrated into every aspect of business. MUJI seems to be a great example of this (Marati, 2012).” By embracing the value of moderation, MUJI’s philosophy exhibits many of the trademarks of a sustainable brand and consequently the company already built up a very positive corporate image to the public. The CSR of MUJI is in its DNA, which is more a simple approach to doing business than a marketing stunt.

In the book, Organizational Change for Corporate Sustainability, the authors (2003) defined sustaining corporation as: The sustaining corporation is one where the strategic elite has strongly internalized the ideology of working for a sustainable world. If it is a ‘for profit’ company, the organization still pursues the traditional business objective of providing an excellent return to investors, but voluntarily goes beyond this by actively promoting ecological sustainability values and practices in the industry and society generally. Its fundamental commitment is to facilitate the emergence of a society that supports the ecological viability of the planet and its species and contributes to just, equitable social practices and human fulfillment.

It is still hard to say that MUJI already get there but as a pioneer, clearly MUJI is on the way.

Attached with the PPT of this study: MUJI CSR Presentation.

Final Year Project 2013

FYP Cover

Here is my Final Year Project (To Infinity and Beyond, Case Study on Pixar Branding) for Bachelor Degree. This triple helix of artistic, technological and business study ended in the July of 2013. Now I want to share it with those who interested in branding or Pixar Animation Studios.



Public Relations Campaign for Feng’s (2013)



Foshan Feng’s Woodblock New Year Prints CO. (佛山冯氏木版年画), founded in 1998, is a woodblock New Year prints producer hatched on the older neighborhoods of Foshan. It is the only traditional woodblock New Year prints maker in the Lingnan region. Foshan Feng’s woodblock New Year prints (Feng’s) is actually originated from woodblock printing of the Song Dynasty and is the extension of a time-honored workshop, Feng Jun Workshop (冯均记).

Feng’s Distinctions

1.    Carrier of the Lingnan Culture.

2.    Red Background:

The most prominent feature that differentiates Feng’s New Year prints from others is their red background. Adding red as the background color in the New Year prints is a unique process in production. This gives the prints striking backgrounds and also makes them more festive.

3.    Door God Prints:

Feng’s is most famous for its door god prints. The founder of Feng’s, Feng Jun is regarded as the “door-god Jun” (门神均). The distinctive door god figures have become the icon of Fung’s.


Feng’s focuses on expending their business in two markets: the art and collectibles market and the mass market. Besides, in the hope of making this Chinese historical folk art stand the test of time and space, Feng’s is strongly willing to spread it to the youth (students) and foreign friends. Based on the available resources for Feng’s and the PR team, college students and foreigners in the Lingnan region (Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Hong Kong, Macao, and Zhuhai) are defined as the primary target audience. Because of its innovative and international education achievements, Hong Kong Baptist University, United International College (UIC, located in Zhuhai) was chosen to be the venue of the first event.

Several focus group studies were conducted to examine the target audience’s knowledge, attitude and (potential) behavior regarding Chinese woodblock New Year prints and platforms or formats they prefer to receive messages through. After the research, the theme of Heritage and Innovation was proposed, which should be presented in the formats of exhibition (off line) and blog (on line). The overall communication goals are: raising brand awareness, providing in-depth brand knowledge and generating positive word-of-mouth.


Feng’s official English blog (

This English blog is created as a long-term showcase and information center for Feng’s. Nine articles were published and each one conveys a special message to the audience as the following table shows. However after the PR team fulfilled the one semester internship, the blog was out of update in the beginning of May last year.

Article NO.


Article 1

What is Foshan Woodblock New Year Prints?

Article 2

The History of Foshan Woodblock New-year Prints

Article 3

The History of Feng’s

Article 4

Documentary Video Promoting

Article 5

Event Forecast

Article 6

Event Review

Article 7

The Moral of Foshan Woodblock New Year Prints

Article 8

Derivative Products

Article 9

Guide to Find Feng’s Century-old Workshop


丹 (Red)

  • Preface


(Brief explanation of the key message: 丹)



  • Plot


Five Exhibition Areas: 畫,馮,坊,革,者

It is not doubt that the information of Foshan woodblock New-year prints is enormous and complex. In order to facilitate a thorough understanding of it, the exhibition hall was zoned into five areas: 畫(Painting),馮(Feng’s),坊(Workshop),革(Innovation),者(The People). Each area stands for a specific elaboration of Foshan woodblock New-year prints.

Space Setting

Space Setting

畫 area focuses on introducing Foshan woodblock New-year prints, including the history and new development.


馮 area presents the family (brand) story and shows the master pieces of Feng’s.


坊 area reflects the prototypal of Feng’s traditional workshops offering visitors a glimpse into the traditional production processes. It is also an interactive zone for visitors to get first-hand experience in making this handicraft.


革 area releases the new subjects and modern development of Feng’s.


者 area is a platform for visitors to display the works they made in the 坊 area.



The theme of Heritage & Innovation

The theme is more like an unspoken commitment to the public and a call for concern and action, which merged into everything and strung everything together.

  • Highlight


Chinese Lantern

To make the venue itself an attraction and leave the audience a strong first impression, the transparent circular exhibition hall was exquisitely decorated in the inspiration of Chinese lantern. The whole glass wall was covered with a layer of Chinese rice papers, which made the building look like a glowing lantern, especially at night.

Chinese Lantern

Chinese Lantern


Five Senses Integration

Aimed to provide visitors an impressive and unforgettable exhibition, a brand-new five senses experience was integrated into the event smoothly. See the red color, listen to the Cantonese Opera (background music), smell the Yulan (a symbolic flower of Foshan) incense, touch the aged painter’s paraphernalia and consequently “taste” the art in a spiritual level.





  • Interaction


A pair of photographing boards, featuring door gods, was set up at the start. It became one of the spotlights and created buzz.

Door Gods

Door Gods


As mentioned before, 者 area was designed to wind up the whole event by showing people’s participation and support.



  • Pre-event





(for guests)

Invitation for guests

Invitation for guests

(for media)

Invitation for media

Invitation for media


  •  Post-event

—Exhibition Brochure




(Postcard Set)

Postcard Set

Postcard Set

(Document Folder)

Document Folder

Document Folder 

BUDGET (around 200 pounds)

Red Exhibition in UIC



Expense (RMB)

Exhibition Hall Decoration Material

Red rice papers


White rice papers




Incense burner


Magnolia incenses


Photographing boards


Wooden clips




Chinese pastes


book



Hemp ropes




Chinese writing brushes


Double-side adhesive tapes


Single-side adhesive tapes






Print Material





Cover of the sign-in book


Exhibition decoration print materials




Food and Water Expense

Lunch and dinner: 2 person


Transportation Expense





  • Footprint: 2000+ visitors (during three days).
  • Media Coverage: 5 local media positively reported the event.
  •  Visitors’ Attitude: According to the survey (500+ questionnaires) results, over 90% of the interviewees felt strongly satisfied about the exhibition itself.
  •  Visitors’ Knowledge: Over 70% of the interviewees agree that the event offered a well organized knowledge on Foshan Woodblock New Year Prints and made them become more interested in it.
conducting survey

conducting survey


Almost one year later, when I look back on this project, still I am so so so proud of what we have done. By making full use of the very limited resources, we accomplished a unique interpretation of Foshan woodblock New-year prints within its enchanting cultural and historical context. As PRers, we indeed tried our best and used our way to enrich and enhance this priceless folk art. All the memories and passions will stay as bright and beautiful as the burning red.

The People

The People

McVitie’s Brand Rejuvenation

McVitie’s, the British snack food brand owned by United Biscuits launched a new campaign last week for their biscuits and cakes, with adorable commercials that feature puppies, kittens and a tarsier monkey emerging from the snack packages.

According to “The campaign, created by Grey London with media from UM London, features cute puppies, kittens and a Tarsier to emphasize the feeling people had when eating a biscuit, promoting three of the company’s brands; plain digestives, chocolate digestives and Jaffa Cakes. Each of the 30-second adverts includes the strapline ‘Sweet’, inspired through the insight that a humble biscuit can create a powerful sensation and habit in daily lives.”

“We knew that our biscuits have a surprisingly important place in people’s lives. People relate to them in a very emotional way. We wanted to bring this feeling to life in a memorable, modern way.” stated by Sarah Heynen, the marketing director of United Biscuits.

The key message of the commercials is that McVitie’s snacks do sweeten and enrich your day, which is truly expressed very well through the animation. The company’s CEO, Martin Glenn made a further explanation on the message, “Biscuits can be a great way of signifying a moment’s break; they can be a mood enhancer, they can make a social moment that little bit better. So biscuits are trivial but they are very important as small things make a different. That insight was immensely powerful thought behind the advertising.”

Meanwhile, the social media pages (facebook & twitter), together with its official website ( are all updated and coherent with the campaign. Some very engaging online activities (e.g., sending cuddles through social media to friends or #Sweeet) and viral videos (e.g.,artists are invited to draw the animals with biscuits) are arranged into those platforms and all the likable and sharable content is enlarging the McVitie’s effect. It has been only one week and there are already over 755,000 viewers of the Original Digestives Sweeet ad on YouTube.

online activities

online activities

This £12m through-the-line campaign is aimed to achieve a long-term brand rejuvenating globally, which will be conducted for an initial six months (since last week) and will be supported through a PR campaign by 3 Monkeys Communications, and in store and online marketing, as well as social media activity through UM London as well. So far, it seems that McVitie’s is ready for a very ambitious integrated marketing communication project.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Wilkinson Sword Shaver For Women: "Smooth Valentine's Day" Print Ad by JWT Paris

Wilkinson Sword Shaver For Women: “Smooth Valentine’s Day” Print Ad by JWT Paris

A romantic and creative video (with nice music) from Wilkinson Sword UK to promote it’s men’s razors. Good idea to nudge gentlemen into a Smooth Valentine’s Day.

Beautiful Entertainment with Beautiful Features

Last week (30 and 31 January) in London Coliseum, an inspiring entertainment was conducted successfully. Named as “Men in Motion”, the project is seeking to research and redefine the role of male dancer from the post-romantic era up until today. It is devised by Ivan Putrov, “the Ukrainian whirlwind, born to ballet dancing parents and seemingly destined to evolve and live on stage.”

Fortunately as an audience, I witnessed the dynamic show that can inspire. This is my first ballet experience in London and actually a feature story of Men in Motion in The Independent Magazine helped me to make this decision. The dedicated performance is unquestionable. However the strategic press management also contributed a lot to the success, which was done by PURPLE PR (

“A Great Leap for Men’s Style” in The Independent Magazine is the most outstanding one. This feature is more visual emphasized. Including the magazine cover, there are six aesthetic photographs and they truly proves the powerful persuasiveness of good visual images. Same as the headline, “ballet’s leading men put the coming season’s sportswear-inspired collections through their steps” the elegant and graceful leading dancers appeared in the pictures leaping and modeling a selection of sportswear-inspired pieces from the spring 2014 menswear collections. Atop their own dance tights. The behind idea is “Just as the international menswear collections have grown in prominence and importance – the autumn/winter shows are currently on their final hurdle in Paris – so has the role of the male dancer in ballet.” The PR team did a stylish and artistic persuasion through the feature.

Men in Motion 1

Men in Motion 1

Men in Motion 2

Men in Motion 2

Men in Motion 3

Men in Motion 3

Men in Motion 4

Men in Motion 4

Men in Motion 5

Men in Motion 5

Besides, the press covered many different angles of the performance: in-depth interviews with the cast, life story of the founder and the impact of lighting design and technology on dance… At last is a media clip about this event, through which more details can be found.

Media Clip

Feature Story


  • DanceTabs (20, Jan)

  • The Telegraph (29, Jan)

  • TimeOut (29, Jan)

  • BBC NEWS (30, Jan)

  • The Guardian (04, Feb)


  • London Evening Standard (01, Feb)–dance-review-9098958.html

  • The Guardian (02, Feb)


  • THE TIMES (03, Feb)

Budweiser’s “puppy love”, the winner of Super Bowl 2014

Budweiser’s “puppy love” (created by Anomaly agency) became the biggest hit through the aired Super Bowl 2014, which also dominated social media with more than a million shares. Table 1, providing more specific statistics was derived from This ad depicts the special affection or implausible friendship between a puppy and a horse and humans’ incomprehension. Ready to get touched?

table 1

Table 1

Clearly it is another case of effective content marketing and some inspirations are here for us.

  •  Value-Driven Communication

No talking, puffery or hard sell but a simple story. Some significant brand values, like loyalty, fraternity and dedication, are well merged into the one-minute long story that contains untraditional plot, expresses the corporate in a compelling way and involves massive audiences. Value drives the story line and the unspoken commitment from Budweiser is received by the viewers.

  •  Poetic Narrative in Digital Way

Start from the dog adoption board and end with the jumping puppy, a poetic quality strings every picture together. This essential and powerful narrative is smart enough to adapt the social media environment and let the public share it through different platforms. As Carat’s managing director, Matthew Hook said: “The Super Bowl used to be about the battle of advertising budgets, now it’s a war of the social newsrooms, a new environment full of promise for plucky challenger brands”. This time Budweiser is the plucky winner.

  •   Humanized Animal Character

You can say no to any celebrity, however it is so difficult to refuse an adorable and innocent animal. The humanized animal characters enable Budweiser to gain an incredible likability.

  •  Quality Sound Track

Written by the talented British singer, Passenger “Let Her Go” is a touching and fresh folk song. The soothing melody, together with the emotional lyrics, matches with the story line. This single provides a sentimental mood, proceeds the story to the climax (when the horses block the car), and winds up it peacefully. When the video ends, people will be ready to watch it again and share it.


Imagine on the street you suddenly notice a lonely pushchair with baby crying sound and when you take a close look, a bloody horrible infant (looks like from hell) sit up and scream at you…

 Actually this scene is the most hilarious thriller last week! Cruising around the city in a remote-controlled pushchair, the “devil baby” popped up to cry, roar, vomit, even give the finger to the passers-by and terrorized New York City.

Fortunately, the devil invasion was turned out to be a prank, which is a viral marketing stunt to promote the new horror flick Devil’s Due from 20th Century Fox. By uploading this hidden camera prank to YouTube, the marketing team caused a stir before the film’s release. The movie now is showing in UK. Not sure about the movie’s box office performance but this bizarre and creative campaign indeed achieved an incredible success. Ranked as the hottest video last week by (, it possessed 1,086,482 shares during only one week and more than 4.8 million views in one day. It seems that there is no better way to heat up a new horror film about the anti-christ being born, than sending this Devil Baby Attack to public.

Krivicka, one of the campaign creator stated, “People were totally cool with being in the video after getting the living hell scared out of them. Each reaction ended with a laugh, and everyone loved the look of the baby.” The video was created by Thinkmodo, the NYC-based viral marketing agency who just won the Silver & Bronze at the 2013 London International Awards. By hacking the huge screen in Times Square, flying “people” over the sky of Manhattan and creating an unbelievable underwater nightclub, Thinkmodo has been grabbing attention globally for the last few years. Those overwhelming hits in succession are all featured with creativity and technology and ended with a promo for certain product or service.

Two tips could be drawn from this case. Firstly, the creative combination of fear appeal and humour appeal is truly engaging. And then it is still not so clear whether this tactic will get more audience in theaters or just leave the viewers interested in the prank itself. However hardly linking the movie trailer with the viral video without any suitable transition is clearly not smart enough.

Proud papas: Thinkmodo founders Michael Krivicka (L) and James Percelay (R) (Photo: Thinkmodo)

Proud papas: Thinkmodo founders Michael Krivicka (L) and James Percelay (R) (Photo: Thinkmodo)